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Title: Entrepreneurial orientation and the dynamics of firm growth : a system dynamics modelling approach
Author: Lu, Jinfeng
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2020
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Understanding how entrepreneurial processes unfold within firms is crucial to understand the heterogeneities in entrepreneurial outcomes and how firms should conduct the entrepreneurial process so as to benefit the most from it. There is no process model to depict entrepreneurship within firms in existence as yet. This study therefore investigates how entrepreneurial processes unfold within firms and what implications of how these processes are conducted will have for long term firm growth. This study draws on the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) literature and the Penrose's theory of firm growth process to map the underlying mechanism behind the firm growth process. To capture the complexities and interactions among these subprocesses, this research employs the System Dynamics modelling method, which is most instrumental in investigating the behaviour of complex systems involving multiple interacting feedback processes. The modelling process shows that entrepreneurial opportunity identification and entrepreneurial opportunity exploitation processes are two interlinked reinforcing processes. The simulation results further show that different EO conditions could lead to qualitatively different growth trajectories. The three EO dimensions are found to exert different influences on firm growth. An interesting and surprising finding is that marginal changes in the level of the three EO dimensions could mean big differences in the firms' long term growth trajectory. This finding on the existence of tipping point behavior for the effect of EO calls into question the tradition of understanding EO's growth contribution in a linear way. Furthermore, an extensive number of simulation runs with different dimensional configurations of EO are performed. The simulation results show that different dimensional configurations of EO could produce different growth results and that there exist interaction effects among the three dimensions of EO on firm growth. A deep analysis of the simulation results and model structure reveals how the three dimensions interact with each other in influencing firm growth. This finding indicates that firms not only need to consider an overall level of EO, but also need to consider the specific dimensional configurations of EO.
Supervisor: Dimov, Dimo ; Liu, Chih-Yao Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available